Speaking about art galereys of London we should first of all mention The national galery, The national portret galerey and The tate galery. I would like to tell you about National portret galery and about Tate galery.
The national galery houses one of the richest and most extensive collections of painting in the world. It stands to the north of the Trafalgar Square. the galerey was desighned by William Wilkins and build in 1834-37. The collection covers allschools and periods of painting, but is a specially famous for it's examples of Rembrant and Rubents. The british schools is only moderately represented as the national collections are shared with the Tate galerey. The National galerey was founded in 1824 when the government bought the collection of John Angerstein which included 38 paintings.
The Tate gtalery houses the national collection of british painting from the 16-th century to the present day. It is also the national galerey for modern art, including painting and sculpture made in Britain, Europe, America and other countries. It was opened in 1897 as the national galerey of british art. It owes it's establishment to Suie Henritate who built the galerey and gave his own collection of 65 painting.
London is the capital of the United Kingdom, its economic, political and cultural centre. It is one of the world's most important ports and one of the largest cities in the world. London with its suburbs has a
population of about 11 million people. London has been a capital for nearly a thousand years. Many of its
ancient buildings still stand. The most famous of them are the Tower of London, where the crown jewels are kept, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. Most visitors also want to see the Houses of Parliament,
Buckingham Palace (the Queen's home with its Changing of the Guards) and the many magnificent museums. Once London was a small Roman town on the north bank of the Thames. Slowly it grew into one of the world's major cities. Exchange and the Bank of England are here, too. The East End is the district where mostly working people live. The old port area is now called «Docklands». There are now new office buildings in Docklands, and
Different areas of London seem like different cities. The West End is
a rich man* world of shops, offices and theatres. The City of London is
the district where most offices and banks are concentrated; the Royal
thousands of new flats and houses. By the day the whole of London is busy. At night, offices are quiet
and empty, but the West End stays alive, because this is where Londoners come to enjoy themselves. There are two opera houses here, several concert halls and many theatres, as well as cinemas. In nearby Soho the
pubs, restaurants and night clubs are busy half the night.
Like a*l big cities, London has streets and concrete buildings, but It also has many big parks, full of trees, flowers and grass. In the middle ofHyde Park or Kensmgtoa Gardens you will&inkthat you are in the
country, miles away. Many people live outside (be centre of London in the subulbs, and they travel to work in shops and offices by train, bus or undergrouad
The British Parliament
The British Parliament is the oldest in the world. It originated in the 12th century as Witenagemot, the body of wise councellers whom the King needed to consult pursuing his policy. The British Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons
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and the Queen as its head. The House of Commons plays the major role in law-making. It consists of Members of Parliament (called MPs for short). Each of them represents an area in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. MPs are elected either at a general election or at a by-election following the death or retirement. Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years and it is the Prime Minister who decides on the exact day of the election. The minimum voting age is 18. And the voting is taken by secret ballot. The election campaign lasts about 3 weeks, The British parliamentary system depends on politicals parties. The party which wins the majority of seats forms the goverment and its leader usually becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister chooses about 20 MPs from his party to become the cabinet of ministers. Each minister is responsible for a particular area in the goverment. The second largest party becomes the official opposition with its own leader and "shadow cabinet". The leader of the opposition is a recognized post in the House of Commons. The parliament and the monarch have different roles in the goverment and they only meet together on symbolic occasions, such as coronation of a new monarch or the opening of the parliament. In reality, the House of Commons is the one of three which has true power. The House of Commons is made up of six hundred and fifty elected members, it is presided over by the speaker, a member acceptable to the whole house. MPs sit on two sides of the hall, one side for the governing party and the other for the opposition. The first 2 rows of seats are occupied by the leading members of both parties (called "front benches") The back benches belong to the rank-and-life MPs. Each session of the House of
Commons lasts for 160-175 days. Parliament has intervals during his work. MPs are paid for their parliamentary work and have to attend the sittings. As mention above, the House of Commons plays the major role in law making. The procedure is the following: a proposed law ("a bill") has to go through three stages in order to become an act of parliament, these are called "readings". The first reading is a formality and is simply the publication of the proposal. The second reading involves debate on the principles of the bill, it is examination by parliamentary committy. And the third reading is a report stage, when the work of the committy is
reported on to the house. This is usually the most important stage in the process. When the bill passes through the House of Commons, it is sent to the House of Lords for discussion, when the Lords agree it, the bill is taken to the Queen for royal assent, when the Queen sings the bill, it becomes act of the Parliament and the Law of the Land. The House of Lords has more than 1000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the work in the house. Members of this Upper House are not elected, they sit there because of their rank, the chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor. And he sits on a special seat, called "WoolSack" The members of the House of Lords debate the bill after it has been passed by the House of Commons. Some changes may be recommended and the agreement between the two houses is reached by negotiations.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousands small islands.
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